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The ultimate guide to getting online advertising results in 2016

We all have an advertising budget, but determining where the best spend is varies, so which is best for you in the coming year? We’re watching the trends and have some meaningful insight into what will work in 2016.

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Pay to play is the way

Pay to play. A very popular phrase among the 21st century businesses. Too bad no one taught the kids who were picked last in kickball this term. They might have actually not been picked last.

Paying to play has become an instrumental technique in this wild and crazy informational era we live in. Content is thrown in front of us at speeds faster than an major league pitcher could ever reach. Which means we need to find new and creative ways to grab the attention of the attention depleted and semi-annoyed consumer.

Besides being creative and demanding attention, paying for it is very much an acceptable and strategic move on our parts. The people yearning for the attention.

What’s the best way to pay to play?

How do we best execute the pay to play strategy to get in front of the people who need our services or products?

There are a lot of choices, but I have compiled the 5 best places to use as part of your pay to play model. In this aaamazing post, we will review each channel along with a few easy tips you can use right away to effectively get in front of the people you serve.

Without further ado…the top 5 pay to play outlets.

1. Google AdWords Search Network

You know when you search for shoes, diapers, restaurants, weight loss programs or software you get a string of search results. Planted at the very top in the first 3 spots are the advertisements that look like search results, but have the little yellow box to the left that says Ad. Then there a long list of 10 mini listing ads on the right hand side…those are the search ads.

The search ads are the longest tenure and still very effective online advertising channel. There is no denying how effective these ads are, but at what costs.

They are and can be really freaking expensive. I just typed into the Google Keyword Planner keywords: real estate agent and real estate broker.

The keyword real estate agent was estimated to be around $7.72 a click. A CLICK!

Real estate broker was $17.32 a click. WHAT?! That’s ridonculous.

And it really depends on your business because the keyword pizza delivery austin is $4.45 a click. Pizza delivery san francisco comes in at $3.31 a click.

The market and keyword depend on the click. $3.31 and $4.45 are not horribly expensive, but compared to the cost of a click on Facebook being around $0.53 to as high as $1.38. I haven’t really seen anything higher than $1.50, yet.

$3, $4, and $17 a click is light years ahead of the cost on Facebook.

But there are ways to get a really good return on your investment while not paying the highest cost per click on Google. If you create highly focused ads with highly focused keywords with highly focused landing pages that convert…then you will see your quality score go up, click through rates go up, and cost per clicks go down.

That’s right…Google rewards you for having highly clickable ads with high quality scores. The reward being a lower cost than a competitor with a lower quality score and click through rate to be a the top of the ads.

So, if you choose to give the AdWords search ads a try…do your research and spend time setting everything up on the backend before you launch. Create a plan and a strategy. Make sure to test your sales funnel. You will save yourself a ton of money and time.

In conclusion… AdWords is still a very effective outlet for the pay to play model. Most people are ready to buy in search ads. The true success is what you do after people visit your site or opt-in.

2. Google AdWords Display Network

Google AdWords Display Network is a secret weapon, in my opinion. Not a whole lot of people know about the capabilities or take advantage of the opportunities with the Display Network ads.

Let me give you a quick breakdown. Google’s Display Network has partner sites that they distribute advertisements to. Some of the partner sites include Google properties such as Google Finance, Gmail, Google Maps, Blogger, as well as over one million Web, video, gaming, and mobile display partners. Other partner websites include Inc. Magazine, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, and more.

The ads are displayed as text, various banner images, and even some animation ads.

The magnificent part of the Display Network is that you can create highly targeted ads based on data from the internet to target your audience on the websites they are spending time on. And I’m not talking about remarketing.

I’m saying you can create ads going after mom’s or business consultants and place ads on the websites/blog they are reading and consuming information on.

You only pay for the click, which can be relatively low in comparison to some keywords. However, the clicks and impressions will be lower than the search network.

The clicks will be more qualified because it is highly targeted. If you choose to go the banner image route, you do have to create a number of image size variations because there are so many options.

Anyway, not to geek out too much…but if you are looking for untapped resource, this is a great avenue to explore. You do need to plan, strategize, and put some work into the image creation. However, if you have a good game plan with a strong sales funnel.

You are prime to get some major return on your investment.

3. Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is the place to be right now. And as time goes on, it’s only going to become more popular, which means more expensive because their will be more bidders and higher bids on the ads.

If you want to start advertising on it, the time is now. The cost is still lower than the AdWords options. The amazing part of Facebook is the different options you have…mixed with the endless amount of data they have on the targeting options.

Facebook has data not just from their site, but from the millions of other sites that have the Sign In with Facebook button. The advertising targeting data is aggregated from every corner of the internet. Talk about powerful.

If you want to target men between the ages of 34 to 43 who live in 20 mile radius of Boston that have an income of $50k to $150k that are single and have a high purchasing behavior. You can.

For realtors…fuhgeddaboudit. The targeting options are even scarier. You can target people who are likely to buy a home soon or potential new homebuyers.

Scary, I know. But ultra effective nonetheless.

The targeting is extremely specific, which means your ads have to match it. The advertising options range from ads on the right column of Facebook to Dark Posts, which are ads that look like Facebook posts, but don’t show up in your Facebook page’s wall as a post. They are only seen by the target audience you created.

You have new options now like Facebook Leads, which allows you to gather leads for something in return like a guide, coupon, or such with one click. They stole that from Twitter who stole that from Amazon’s one click buy button.

The advertising options continue. But perhaps, that is another posts. What you need to know is that no matter who your customer is…everyone is on Facebook. It would be advantageous of you to at least test the different ad options on Facebook.

People are making a living on the Facebook Ads along. One line of caution, with something that is so powerful it does not come easy to be uber successful. Take it from experience, you can’t just create an ad, find a niche target, and expect money and leads to be flowing through the doors.

It’s a complicated medium to use because of all the options and the psychology of people on Facebook. My recommendation is to do two things. First, set aside money to gamble with. Second, invest in some training or hire a Facebook Advertising consultant to help you. Make sure the consultant knows what they are doing. Have them do a test run with you or ask for references.

As low cost as the ads are, you are still susceptible to lose money if you don’t invest it wisely and have a plan. Like an advertisement. Even with the risks, the rewards can be enormous.

4. Twitter Advertising

Twitter advertising has opportunity oozing out of every crevice. Might sound disgusting, but it’s true.

On Twitter, the costs range. It’s not as clear cut as Facebook or Google because of their options. The audiences are more targeted than Google AdWords search network and almost as rich in data as Facebook.

Twitter has come a long way. I was just looking at the behavior data…it has gone up 10 levels since six months ago.

For some people, Twitter works better than Facebook ads. Again, it comes back to your audience and the targeting you setup.

Some quick highlights of Twitter ads…you have the lead card option or the one-click advertising option. Remember, Facebook stole it from Twitter. Twitter allows you to offer people something special in exchange for their email address with just one click.

You can target people to engage with a tweet. You can target people by upcoming events such as sporting events, conferences, and so on. The opportunities are just endless with Twitter.

And the costs doesn’t have to be through the roof. You set the budget on daily spend and lifetime spend. So, if you have $10 or $10,000 you can use Twitter advertising.

Another channel you shouldn’t let pass you up.

One quick idea on how to use it…Twitter allows you to target people who like a certain TV show. If you know your customers are fans of a certain show or you want to target people who like a particular show then use that targeting and your creativeness to attract them.

For example, let’s say you sell wine or work in the wine industry or your customers like wine. You can target people who watch Scandal. Olivia Pope (the lead character) loves to drink wine when she unwinds from a long day of covering up politicians dirt and dealing with her daily momma drama.

That is a perfect way of getting in front of the fellow wine drinkers. You could even be a wine bar or bar that serves the sophisticated wine drinker. Get an ad with a picture of Olivia drinking a glass of red wine. Use clever content. Make them an offer even Olivia couldn’t refuse and bam! You could have a hit.

5. Remarketing & Retargeting

Remarketing, or retargeting as some might reference it as, is an advertising option that everyone should take advantage of. The best definition of remarketing is a little piece of code that put on your website. You can put it throughout your website or one specific pages.

So, when someone visits your website, no matter the source of the traffic…it could be from Facebook organically or a Google search or LinkedIn or Twitter or a referral partner. The code will shoot off a cookie to be placed in the browser. The cookie will then register data to the advertising portal that the code is associated with, which can be Facebook, Google, or Twitter…almost all advertising platforms have retargeting code or pixels.

The data will aggregate a list of people who have visited your site and visited specific pages on your site. You can build lists out for people who have down certain activities on your page..like reading a blog post or looking at an opt-in, but not taking action.

The key to remarketing is building those audiences, which you can do with the help of the other advertising campaigns.

For example, let’s say you wrote a blog posts specifically targeting mom’s who just had a baby who graduated from UCLA. You could call the blog 5 Eco-Friendly Products New Mom’s Who Graduated From UCLA Can’t Live Without.

You set it up on Facebook as a dark post. On the blog you add the pixels to track the audience. You also have calls to actions placed inside the post to have links to the 5 products page on your website.

The person goes to the blog post, they read it, love it, but get distracted and move on to a cat video on Facebook. That’s ok because you have a remarketing ad that follows them on Facebook. The ad is reminding them about the products.

You can also create custom audiences in Facebook and Twitter to target ads about something you might have pushed in a recent email blast.

You can build custom audiences by plugging in the email addresses of the people on your list for either Facebook or Twitter. So, if you make an offer in an email for a product or service, you can remind them about the offer on Facebook and Twitter with the retargeting ad.

You can setup pixels for Google Remarketing that will follow people who visit certain pages on your website. For example, if someone goes to a service page on your website. An ad can follow them around the web reminding them of the service you offer them.

Remarketing increases conversion rates up to 70%. Not a bad number to play around with.

You can setup the payment structure to pay per click. So, you are only paying for the people who click on the ad, which is a fantastic model…as long as your offer is converting.

The amount of people using remarketing ads are still by comparison low. You would be at an advantage to consider using a good portion of your advertising mulla on remarketing.

People who visit your site are more likely than anyone else to convert than someone new to your brand and website.

What have you tried and seen results in? I’d love to hear back from you peeps.

#Advertising

Brandon Lewin loves sharing his plethora of experiences, stories, and knowledge of everything marketing with the world with the goal to ensure everyone is marketing the right way. He's an entrepreneur, a marketer, a trainer, and most importantly, a devoted family man.

Business Marketing

Reddit put on their big kid pants to attract ad dollars

(MARKETING) If your company is scared to engage Reddit, they’re trying to button up for you, and it’s worth a second look. Maybe.

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While Reddit remains to be one of those strange sites where advertisers still aren’t sure if they want to use it (whether it’s because Reddit is a little confusing, or companies are turned off by it’s well known strange subcultures and tendency to be a magnet for a lot of uh, weirdness – we don’t know.)

Reddit has been working to improve their ad platform over the past year, mostly recently taking pixel from tracking only a single conversion event to eight conversation windows with an improved attribution window of 1, 7, or 28 days.

This builds on top of the cost-per-click buying that was added as a feature last month.

Reddit putting on big boy pants for marketing is a big deal. In case you missed it – Reddit generates over 1.2 billion visits a month – and remains one of the most popular sites on the internet. It’s the sixth most popular site in the United States, and it’s not afraid to boast a moniker of being the “Internet’s Front Page.”

Marketing on Reddit has some pitfalls of course – if you just go in blindly and without care, you wont’ get anywhere – the platform is not friendly to self-promotion and flagrant marketing.

But if take the time to generate valuable content, the ability to share that content to a very specific audience in the right subreddit. Marketing effectively will still require getting your material to the right place, but there’s a lot of opportunity for marketers to use both the uniqueness of the forum, combined with these new marketing tools, to reach this vast sea of Redditors.

If you don’t know about Reddit – here’s some good places to get started:

Short summary – Reddit should be somewhere you could consider advertising. It has an easy potential for some modest returns, but has a lot of possibility if you take the time and leverage the tool. So go forward, and subreddit smartly, marketers.

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Business Marketing

A more environmentally sensitive Pantone color of the year

(MARKETING) Why is Pantone’s coral color causing a ruckus? Marketing is just marketing, right? Maybe not…

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Every year Pantone declares the Color of the Year and for 2019, the institute declared Living Coral to be the “it” shade calling it “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” And it totally is. Imagine bright red orange swimming in a sea of crystal blue water.

Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman even goes so far as saying it that Living Coral was what “consumers craved” and that it incites “human interaction and social connection” which might be a stretch. It is just a color after all.

However, some found this messaging to be anything but convivial and well, off-color.

Jack Railton-Woodcock and Huei Yin Wong, partners at Jack and Huei, a Melbourne-based design agency, took umbrage with this decision and for good reason.

Their native Australia has front-row seats to the dying of the Great Barrier Reef and for them, coral is anything but lively. If anything, it’s on life support.

To call attention to the tone-deaf decision, the duo preemptively christened Bleached Coral as the Color of the Year 2020.

Touche.

The duo furthered their burn, saying, “It’s the responsibility of all of us, creative or otherwise, to find creative solutions to big problems, and right now there aren’t many problems facing humanity that are bigger than climate change.”

Oof, way to pull back the curtain, guys.

As much of a buzzkill as this pair might be, they’re not wrong, and they bring up the larger question of social responsibility in marketing.

But it’s just marketing, right?

Wrong. The very root of marketing is aspirational. We see ads for luxury cars, we imagine ourselves behind the wheel and believe that maybe we can get there. We see beauty products that promise flawless ageless skin and maybe we decide to take better care of our skin. We see Living Coral and we’re blinded to the reality that the coral just might be a thing of the past.

Yes, Pantone’s Color of the Year is one of those fun end-of-year things we in marketing get excited about, but when you’re living in a world where climate change is our reality and we see it in unnatural weather patterns and the dying off of one of our greatest natural treasures, it’s time to take pause. We can do better.

These days it’s hard to please everybody. Try as we might to make everything for everyone, if we’re going to attempt to talk about a unifying the human race through color, we sure as hell shouldn’t choose a color that reminds us all that our environment is in rough shape and it’s largely humanity’s fault. Bleached Coral isn’t the color we need, but right now, it’s the color we deserve.

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Business Marketing

Video marketing is here to stay – 5 ways to change your SEO strategy

(MARKETING) Video marketing now constitutes the majority of all web traffic – is your brand getting lost in the shuffle?

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Video marketing has grown as a content strategy over the past several years, as the explosion in mobile devices and fast mobile internet has made it more feasible to stream videos on the fly. And considering more than three-quarters of all business using video marketing are seeing results, it’s unlikely that video marketing is a trend going away anytime soon.

If you’re a search marketer, video content isn’t a trend you can ignore. You need to adapt your SEO strategy if you’re going to thrive in this new market and capitalize on the new opportunities that video provides.

Videos as Part of SEO

How exactly do videos impact your campaign?

  • Platform-specific optimization. Google gets all the attention in SEO, but it isn’t the only search engine you can optimize for. Video-centric platforms, like YouTube, function as independent algorithms with dedicated audiences. That represents an additional ranking opportunity, and the chance to get your content in front of new audiences.
  • Onsite value. Videos are also powerful ways to improve the authority and value of your onsite pages. Integrating a video into your how-to guide, for example, can make visitors spend more time on your pages and engage with your content in more meaningful ways. Accordingly, high-quality videos could increase your onsite authority.
  • Brand reputation and links. Good videos have the potential to quickly improve your reputation as a content creator, making you visible to more people and making people appreciate your content more. That means you’ll have opportunities with more external publishers, and you could potentially attract more links to your domain.

How to Adapt Your Strategy

So what steps should the average search marketer take to adapt their SEO strategy for the future of video marketing?

  1. Create more videos. For starters, you can spend more time creating and publishing video content as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Including them onsite, as part of your articles and guides, can bolster your onsite strategy, while including them offsite can help you optimize your offsite presence. Learning to create high-quality videos isn’t as hard as it seems; you don’t need expensive equipment, nor do you need much experience (though it does help). As long as you’re focused on creating content that your viewers want to see and are converting your videos to the appropriate file formats, you should stand to gain from the efforts.
  2. Leverage multiple mediums of content. Your videos don’t have to exist exclusively in video form. In fact, if you transform your videos into multiple different formats, you can benefit from it in multiple contexts. For example, publishing your video content, then including a written transcript and a downloadable audio file can expose you to multiple audiences simultaneously, while giving Google more content to crawl.
  3. Learn to title and tag your videos appropriately. Depending on where you publish your videos, you’ll likely have the opportunity to label them with a title, a brief description, and possibly categories and tags. These are incredibly valuable for helping algorithms “understand” what your video is about, and an opportunity to captivate your audience at the same time. For example, a catchy or compelling video title will attract more clicks when you’re featured in search results, and including the right tags can ensure you come up for more searches.
  4. Take advantage of YouTube’s algorithm. Don’t optimize for YouTube the same way you’d optimize for Google (though there are some similarities to consider). Instead, learn how YouTube’s algorithm works and use strategies to capitalize on its functionality. For example, you can tweak your content to get more likes and comments or optimize your channel to get more subscribers. You can also look at how your competitors are tagging and categorizing their similar videos, and either mimic or complement those strategies.
  5. Foster a video-centric community. Finally, take the time to build and nurture a video-centric community. Engage with the people who are commenting on your videos, and reach out to people on social media to see what they think of your video content. Doing this motivates people to continue following your channel, and will attract more people to your brand at the same time. Best of all, earning more regular subscribers and viewers will increase your authority as it’s perceived by algorithms like those from Google and YouTube search.

You don’t have to include videos as part of your content creation strategy to be successful in SEO, but it certainly has the potential to improve your performance. At the very least, you should be aware of your competitors making use of videos in their strategies, and adjust your tactics to reflect the nature of this new era.

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